First off, let me say that I'm SO glad to find this site! My husband just keeps telling me that I'm the nagging, crazy wife. It's nice to know that I'm experiencing the same emotions many of you are. My quick story- I've been with my husband for almost 7 years, married for almost 4. When I met him, he was newly divorced with 2 children (whom he shares 50/50 custody with). Together, him and I have a daughter and son. Depression, anxiety and substance abuse runs in his family. He's always been medicated for the depression and anxiety and was being medicated for being bipolar, but a test later showed he did not have bipolar. He was diagnosed with ADHD last year around this time.
Our relationship has always been up and down. He is the breadwinner and seems to handle everything at his job well. When he comes home in the evening he walks in the door, changes his clothes, eats, and watches tv or sits on the iPad all night. Eventually he’ll go to bed while I struggle with cooking, cleaning, laundry, bathing the children, bedtimes and everything else that takes a family to run. I get frustrated and tired, but am at the point, where I’m so bitter about it I just don’t care anymore.
I struggle with his children as I don’t know if this is ADHD behavior or if this is something unrelated. His 2 boys are very codependent on both of their parents. While our 5 year old is very independent. He openly prefers his boys over our children and I have great resentment over it. The boys struggle with school (their doctors have confirmed that both boys have ADHD but are both unmedicated) and our 5 year old excels. When I get after the boys about doing normal and age appropriate things (like making their beds or remembering their glasses) I get yelled at for nagging them. But, I don’t have to tell my 5 year old these things as she just does them. I got yelled at last week for asking his 8 year old why he swallowed toothpaste. Because apparently I shouldn’t be asking those questions, who cares if he eats toothpaste?! When it comes to parenting him and his ex take the “I’d rather be their friend than their parent” route. So, when I actually parent I’m the bad guy to his kids and to him. He yells and says I favor our daughter over his sons. It’s not that, I treat them the same way I would treat any other 8 and 12 year old. I hold them to higher standard than the 5 year old. And why shouldn’t I? He’s very condescending and lazy with them. Problem is, so is their mom. I think my husband feels this is how parenting should be and I feel otherwise. Is this normal ADHD behavior?
We have the same fights over and over again. The same talks over and over again. Though the talks are never talks, they always end up in arguments. With every new low we hit I keep thinking that this is rock bottom only to find a new bottom a couple weeks later. Everything is my fault. I never want to have sex (not something I crave) and that’s all he wants. Sometimes I think he’d be better off with a nanny, maid, and prostitute. That’s all he really wants. We never talk or do anything together. I suggested going on a small vacation (just the 2 of us) for our upcoming anniversary and he said vacations aren’t something that just 2 people take. It has to be a group of people. I just don’t think he wants to spend any time with me. I left him this summer (when our son was 5 weeks old), only to be talked into coming back by his dad. I think that was the last real talk my husband and I have had. Promises were made, but never kept. I’m a burned out virtually single mom, with these other awful kids that show up at my house every other week. My husband will show them all of his love and affection leaving nothing to give to OUR kids. In fact, a few weeks ago he referred to his sons as being “his kids” and OUR kids as being “my kids”. Our daughter has realized that “Daddy loves the boys more than her”, words she’s said to me multiple times before.
My other issue with all of this is my husband does take his medication everyday. He gets very irritable if he doesn’t take it. Do you all still deal with all of this when they actually are medicated? I haven't noticed a difference from when he was on medication to when he doesn't. I have noticed he's more rigid and irritable though. He feels like a different person though he says. So, according to him, it's working.
I don't have kids, so I can't
Submitted by dazedandconfused on
I don't have kids, so I can't quite understand, but it seems to me that this is a situation of differing parenting styles more than ADHD. It would also seem that he thinks that since he is the major breadwinner (I'm assuming that you don't work) then that means you should take care of the household and kids with little to no input from him. Was he raised that way? I've learned first hand that the way you were raised spills over into marriage. If his mother did everything for him or was the housekeeper, then he's going to expect the same.
As for parenting... Do his sons stay with you guys full time or are they with their mother full time and with guys on the weekends, etc? I feel for you because you are trying to straddle two worlds essentially. I don't think he probably favors his kids from the ex, it's probably that he wants to be the "fun" parent. My parents were divorced and my dad took that way with me. He wanted to be my friend, never punished me, never gave me a curfew, etc. Fortunately for him, I was a good kid that didn't take advantage of it. My mom was the opposite; she wanted to do chores, have a curfew, etc.
I don't really have any advice except tell him how you feel. Find out what he expects from you as a parent. Explain to him that he is putting you in the position of being the disciplinarian and he if doesn't like how you do it, then he needs to step up and do it. Wait for the right time to have a "talk". I would suggest counseling if possible. It's hard to blend two families together, so it would be very beneficial.
Makwis, I am in such a
Submitted by kalimando on
Makwis, I am in such a similar situation! Please see post I just made tonight ("married 10 years"). Wondering if you have made any changes or had any breakthroughs? Having a blended family is very difficult, much more so when your spouse is adhd.